BYU Jumps to 11 and 14 in Major Polls

After dropping from No. 15 to No. 18 in the AP Poll following a close 28-27 victory over the University of Washington in Seattle, BYU is now back in business following a 59-0 clobbering of UCLA in Provo. The Cougars jumped up four spots in both polls and are now sitting at No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, as well as No. 14 in the AP Poll.

While the team members' collective efforts are gaining them important recognition in the polls, various players on the team are making names for themselves on the national statistical leaderboards. Max Hall is currently rated No. 3 in passing yards and No. 7 in pass efficiency rating, and though the Cougars' primary attack is through the air, BYU tailback Harvey Unga is currently sitting at No. 30 in rushing yards. On the receiving end, three BYU backs are listed among the top 50 in the nation in receptions, as Dennis Pitta ranks No. 3, Austin Collie is at No. 11 and Harvey Unga is at No. 42. Pitta is No. 2 in the nation in receiving yards and Collie is No. 21.

Jake Locker's 15-yard excessive celebration penalty against BYU has been the focus of much negative media attention towards BYU. With teams such as Fresno State, Utah and East Carolina trying to make names for themselves in the early going of this 2008 season, BYU needed to make a statement - and clearly BYU vs. UCLA was a statement game.

"This was the most intense and physical football game that I have ever coached at anywhere I have been," Coach Mendenhall told the press after the game.

Defensive End Jan Jorgensen was quoted saying that BYU was sick and tired of all the talk that happened after the Washington game, so they needed a statement game.

It now appears that BYU has pulled away from the teams trying to establish the leading role as the top candidate for busting the BCS. Fresno State has dropped out of the rankings with their loss to Wisconsin, and East Carolina is six spots behind the Cougars in the USA Today Poll and one spot behind in the AP Poll. Utah is currently at No. 20 in both major polls, with TCU sitting on the outside of the Top 25.

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